The Nussif Family
For many people, home is the ultimate place of comfort where one can feel most relaxed. But for Musaab Nussif, being comfortable in his home has always been a distant dream. With tight hallways and stairs, Musaab is unable to travel freely around his apartment due to the lack of access for his wheelchair. At times he feels trapped in a place that he should feel most at ease.
Lack of accessibility is not the only issue affecting the Nussif family. Mold continues to grow on the surfaces of their apartment, no matter how many times they clean with bleach. Eman, Musaab’s wife, has gotten asthma from constantly breathing in the mildew, and both parents worry that their two young daughters will eventually be affected by it too. While the physical health of his family is extremely important, Nussif is also concerned about the social and emotional impact lack of stable housing has on his children.
In 2009, the Nussif’s fled their home country of Iraq after Musaab became disabled as a result of the war in his country. Since coming to America his family has moved three times in the past three years searching for affordable rent, clean and safe living conditions, and a home that is wheelchair accessible.
“I want to stop moving from one apartment to another because it is not good for my children,” Musaab said. “I want my daughters to go to college and having a stable home will help them reach their goals.”
Dedicated to the idea of bettering his family’s future, Musaab recently enrolled in school to improve his education and employment opportunities. Around this same time he also applied to Habitat for Humanity after hearing about the program from a friend.
When Musaab learned he was accepted into the program he was overjoyed at the prospect of becoming a homeowner.
“Habitat is like an angel that comes from the sky to help people.” Musaab said.
The Nussif family is hard at work, putting in their 500 hours of sweat equity. They moved into their new, fully wheelchair accessible home on 171st and Division Street in 2014.